March 14, 2011
What about the greedy one? We’ve all heard the story of the little boy who gave Jesus his lunch. But have you heard about the guy who held his lunch tightly?
He had swiped a handful of flatbreads, warm from his mama's clay oven, and smeared honey over them while his friends tugged at his sleeve. “You always need to eat Yacob! And now he's getting away. The Rabbi is leaving!”
Yacob ran to catch his friends following the Rabbi through the marketplace and into the hills. This Man would do something amazing, like touch people’s ears and they would hear again, but it was the stories Yeshua told that Yacob wanted to hear.
And after he’d sat spellbound all afternoon and the sun stretched its golden fingers across the lake of Galilee, his stomach growled, reminding him of the lunch tucked in the belt at his waist. Others thought the same thing apparently. A brawl broke out between two men beside him, one wanting the food the other had brought.
When a roman whip whizzed by his face, Yacob skittered sideways and clutched his robe closer to himself. Better to not show his food than to end up with a bloody nose. But he was so hungry.
Yacob wound his way through the murmuring crowd to the edge where he could nibble at his bread without having to share. That’s when he noticed that Yeshua, the man from God, had also separated himself from the crowd and was sitting on a rock overlooking the valley.
His eyes held a knowing smile. Yacob dropped his hand from the belt, his fingers burning with guilt. Of course. He stepped forward, wanting to give it to the One who knew all secrets, but Yacob thought about the fresh bread and his mouth watered. What good would his little bit of food do? It would only cause another fight to break out. Yacob turned away, and disappointment sickened his stomach.
What happened next turned the honey sour in his mouth. If only he had trusted Yeshua, the all-knowing One.
Yacob walked home behind his friends, hiding his hands with dust clinging to his honey-coated fingers. How many times did they need to re-tell the story? Of how they stuffed themselves on the never-ending barley loaves. And how fish had never tasted so good! It could have been his lunch that Yeshua held to the sky. He could be the one they were holding on their shoulders now. Instead...
Yacob stopped in the road and glanced back at the hills. That hand on his shoulder as the men were gathering all the leftovers. It felt warm like a spring rain washing his soul.
Yeshua had spoken to him then. What was it he’d said? “Yacob.” He knew his name. “Is there something you wanted to give me?”
Yacob had ducked his head, felt the heat of shame sear his cheeks. “I ate it.” He had choked on the words.
“I didn’t need your food, Yacob. Just you." Yeshua lifted Yacob’s chin and smiled. "You're all I ever wanted."
And then he was gone, with a wink as he turned.
Someday he’d see Yeshua again. And next time he’d hold nothing back.
by Pamela Mytroen